Christian Hope

Parish grief ministry is all a part of evangelization

Michelle Ritter, a parish nurse for St. Martin de Porres Parish in Hazelwood and St. Ferdinand Parish in Florissant, puts together backpacks for children who recently lost a loved one. The program is called “Building Bridges to Hope.”

When a parish family reaches out to its members who are grieving, it's a form of evangzelization.

That's what Michelle Ritter believes. The parish nurse, who splits her time between two north St. Louis County parishes, St. Martin De Porres in Hazelwood and St. Ferdinand in Florissant, has spent the last several years developing a grief support ministry for parishioners there.

National bereavement group seeks to widen umbrella of ministry

Members of the board of trustees with the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved prayed Evening Prayer in the chapel of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Oct. 14 during their fall board meeting.

When members of the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved convened here last week, they were brainstorming ways to expand the organization into an umbrella of services for those involved in bereavement ministry.

Mass in 'Memory of Our Children' to be celebrated in December

Father Sean Martin will be the main celebrant at the annual Mass, "In Memory of Our Children," on Sunday, Dec. 11.

The Mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. at the Old Cathedral, 209 Walnut St. Downtown on the Riverfront.

The Mass is an annual tradition that started in the 1980s and provides families who have lost a child a way to include them in their Christmas observance. Bereaved parents have said the Mass helps them celebrate Christmas with the memory of their child before taking part in holiday activities.

For more information on the Mass, call Mary Jo Pini at (636) 300-1954.

Memorial Mass honors those buried at Catholic Cemeteries

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis offers a memorial Mass every month for those buried at all of its cemeteries.

Msgr. Dennis Delaney, director of Catholic Cemeteries, celebrates the 9 a.m. Mass on the second Saturday of the month in the chapel of the Shrine Mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery, 5239 W. Florissant Ave. in north St. Louis.

For more information on the memorial Masses at Calvary, call (314) 381-1313.

'Protect and serve' reaches beyond life

The Light Bringer

It's a work of fiction that grabs readers and takes them for a ride.

The book focuses on a police officer whose "protect and serve" efforts reach far beyond the world of the living. He is forced to deal with numerous tragic incidents where people have died, all seemingly unrelated. As the story progresses he eventually learns there is a connection among the deceased that becomes apparent beyond life.

It takes the reader into the world beyond life -- into heaven and hell, combining real incidents and supernatural fiction.

Catholic Cemeteries provides monthly grave decoration removal service

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Archdiocese of St. Louis offers a grave decoration removal service at all of its locations.

Removals take place beginning the second Wednesday of the month and continuing the following day, on Thursday, from February through November. Removals will begin at 7:30 a.m. There will be no removal period in December or January to allow more time for holiday memorials to remain at grave sites.

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